Posts Tagged ‘Bargain Hunting’
We purchased Nicki’s Easter dress crazy last minute (last Saturday afternoon). The original price of the dress she wore was $39.99, but under the price scanner it came to $25.99. These days I always double check everything with the price scanner. I’ve been burned too many times with sales signs that were put up before the sale actually started, or left up after the sale ended. But I trust the price scanner to be right. I mean, it’s the same backend system as the cash register, right?
After Nicki went to bed I sorted through the day’s purchases. That’s when I was suddenly struck the notion that my receipt didn’t make sense. I purchased 6 items, three from the clearance rack. Aside from the dress I bought the next two most expensive items were $12 regular price. My three “big ticket” items totaled $50, how in the world was my total $90?! (Confession: I have a really easy time remembering individual prices, but I’m terrible at guessing the total.)
I went back to the receipt and was shocked. My $2.25 St. Patty’s day shirt (bought ahead for next year) rung up at full price – $8.99. The dress, $39.99! And I got charged for 3 Pairs of pants, not the two I purchased. I was livid. I remember both those prices precisely because I did not want the items at full price. But the store was closed for the day, and, of course, nothing was opened Easter Sunday.
My best guess as to what went wrong with the receipt was that I didn’t read the fine print. Babies r’ us was also having a buy one-get one free (BOGO) deal on Fisher Price toys. I started kicking myself from having bought two Fisher Price toys on Amazon earlier that day, and doing the mental math to see how much I could have saved. That is, until Domingo pointed out the super fine print that said the first item had to be at least $29.99 and the second item could not exceed $24.99. I wouldn’t have qualified for the BOGO deal. My guess is there was a similar fine print for the St. Patty’s day shirt (ie it was only 70% off if my total purchase exceeded some amount) as well as for the dress. So I probably wouldn’t have been able to argue the different prices. Regardless, I should not have been charged for that non-existent third pair of pants.
I was left with two options: suck it up, cut the tags off the dress and get the Easter photos I wanted, or go back Monday to attempt argue for a different price and/or return everything thus waiting until the following weekend to do Easter-style spring photos. Normally I would be cool with the latter option, but this time I was taking photos more for grandparents than myself, and I wanted to be able to send them somewhat timely. So after twenty solid minutes of fuming, I cut off the tags. I will still be irate about this for weeks to come, have no doubt about that.
Fast forward to today I went after Easter sales shopping at Target, Wallgreens, etc. I was specifically looking for an Easter book I could read to her next year but I was tickled pink that one store had such a huge college of not just spring themed books, but classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Peter Rabbit in the Easter sale bin for 50% off! They were designed to be Easter basket filler (and were slightly smaller than normal print books), but I didn’t care. I picked up five books, including a ‘touch and feel’ baby animals book, Guess How Much I Love You and a glittery egg shaped ‘peel back and see’ book.
This time the price checker reported full price for all five books. Not a good sign, but I figured I’d ask the sales associate working the cash register. No dice, only the candy was on sale. Disheartened I headed back to the Easter display, but when I saw the big “50% off” sign plastered all over the books bin I decided to ask a second person. She wasn’t sure about the sale and thought only the egg shaped book, and maybe Peter Rabbit were on sale, but called over the manager to verify. The manager confirmed that none of the books were on sale and proceeded to remove all the sales signs. I was so bummed. But right before he left he looked back and said “Except hers, hers are on sale.” Score!
So I saved $18 on books, but was jipped out of about $21 in clothes this week. Still so so mad over the clothes. I guess now I’m going to have to check every item on the receipt before leaving the store. Everyone else in line are going to hate me.
Discount shopping is hard these days. I do my best with automated systems to alert me to sales, but I often find myself needing something and unable to wait until a good deal comes along. Like this weekend. A heat wave is hitting (yes, it’s only early March), the temperature upstairs is hovering around 75 °F, and the fan in the office died. I keep 20% bed bath and beyond coupons well stocked, but they weren’t selling any fans yet. Still, I hate the idea of not saving anything, so I thought I’d look into various cash back programs. I spent the afternoon researching the three main online rebate programs: Ebates, UPromise and Swagbucks.
I ultimately decided to go with Ebates (disclaimer: that’s a referral link). Ebates pays you cash back to shop online at BestBuy, Target, Amazon, Carters, JCPenney, Bed Bath and Beyond, Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby and many, many, many more. You click their affiliate link to visit the store you want to shop from and ebates splits the referral bonus with you. I signed up and used the link to buy a new fan. What else can you save with Ebates just in time for tax season? TurboxTax and H&R Block! The more time I spent on their website the more I kicked myself for not joining Ebates sooner.
I was instantly drawn to uPromise. Easy college savings? What’s not to love?! I had the impression that uPromise accounts were special high yield savings with tax benefits (like a 529 plan) backed by Sallie Mae. Not quite. While uPromise provide easy access to 529 plans, and is owned by Sallie Mae, it is basically just a loyalty program. The funds don’t even need to be spent on educational expenses. If uPromise can’t offer me a better savings plan than I can get on my own, there doesn’t seem to be any additional benefit to uPromise instead of Ebates. What uPromise does have going for it, is slightly higher cashback rates.
As I dug a little deeper I read that uPromise’s business model is primarily in profiling their customers for marketing purposes and were criticized as having some deceptive practices. I was beginning to feel more like the product being sold than the customer.
Then there was SwagBucks (also a referral link.) SwagBucks has a cash back system like ebates, with slightly lower rates. But that’s not the only way you can earn money with SwagBucks. Their pitch: earn money for doing things you already do online – surf the web, watch videos, play games. The reality: earn money by subjecting yourself to marketing pitches. Each poll is associated with some product. “Do you have amazon prime?”. (Guess what ad pops up if you answer ‘no’.) You can also participate in activities which, in my admittedly limited experience, have all been soft ball type pitches for products disguised as marketing research. “Which feature of my product do you like the most” Guess which ad then pops up. I earned 7 points by in 4 minutes. At 450 points for a $5 Amazon gift card that’s an effective rate of $1.16 per hour. At least in this business model products are being sold to me, rather than data about me being sold to other companies.
The Verdict: EBates for the win, followed by SwagBucks. I plan to do my shopping through Ebates, but will likely continue to do some searching through SwagBucks. It’s only a few extra ads on each search result page, after all. We’ll see if anything actually pans out.
It’s a good thing I decided to test our online strategy early. Monitoring tweets with tweet alarm just isn’t going to work, at least not how I originally set it up.
The first problem is that I’m getting alerts for tweets like “Fry’s Black Friday 2011 Ads Finally Revealed”. Yes, that’s a recent tweet from today! Most likely it isn’t a legitimate account. I’d link to it, but the shortened link in the tweet is most likely a virus. It made me realize that tweet monitoring may be bad advice. If you decide to use tweet monitoring, be careful not to click on links from accounts you don’t recognize. The second problem is that I’m getting too many tweets. I can’t find the legitimate ones mixed in with the illegitimate ones.
I’m not giving up on social media for Black Friday. In the past I’ve used the websites Black Friday Ads and BlackFriday Info, both of which have twitter accounts (@BFAds and @blackfridayinfo, respectively). It may take me longer to get notifications of good deals, but at least I can trust the information.
It’s starting already. Apple and Amazon are kicking off the shopping season with the rumored announcement of the iPhone 5 expected this week and last week’s Kindles announcement. Even though I won’t be pregnant this time around, we still plan on focusing our shopping efforts online. I really don’t relish the idea of taking a sub five month old out during some of the busy shopping days of the year, in the middle of flu season! As such, it’s time to update our Back Friday strategy with the times.
We’re developing our strategy primarily to catch surprise deals – those we won’t know about in advance. Since we expect the deals to start prior to Black Friday, and continue well into Cyber Monday (which is more like Cyber Week…) we also want to make sure we don’t buy too early if someone else is going to have a better deal.
Dynamic Pricing is becoming increasingly common. It’s been speculated that retailers like Walmart and Amazon will rely on dynamic pricing this holiday season to undercut the competition. In order to capitalize on these price fluctuations, we plan to set up price watches.
We intend to utilize Camelcamelcamel (Amazon price watches), and it’s companion websites CamelBuy (BestBuy price watches) and CamelEgg (NewEgg price watches). Last year, many of the big chains had great deals in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday for items like video games, books, music, toys, and electronics. They even had price drops for big ticket items as well like TVs and gaming consoles. Sometimes these price drops were advertised in advance, but not always. Price watching alerts you to sales as they happen, giving you the best chance possible to grab items as they go on sale before they’re sold out.
I have adjusted all my price watches on down significantly (I never buy during the black Friday season unless it’s an amazing deal!). Currently on my price watch? Memory Cards for the camera, and baby toys & books.
Price watching, however, can only get you so far. Bundles were common last year, and I suspect they will be again. Rather than drop the price of, say, an Xbox 360, retailers will bundle it with several games or with gift cards. Bundles are popular when manufactures control the price of products so retailers can’t discount them. Apple is a prime example. Many of these bundles will be announced for Black Friday, but some are surprises and will happen in the weeks and days leading up to it. Since bundles appear as new product listings, automated price watching won’t work.
When we were gearing up for our baby, I set up Google alerts in the hopes of catching sales from online stores too small to have dedicated price alert websites. I’d set an alert with the name of the product I was interested in, and the phrase ‘(Discount OR Sale)’. The strategy didn’t work for me. Turns out Google alerts were not real time enough. For this shopping season, I’m turning to twitter and social media. Nothing is more real time than twitter.
I’ve already friended companies in Facebook and follow them on Twitter already to watch for coupons. For the holiday season I plan to use saved searches, and set up an account with tweetalarm.com. Once those deals are live, you can bet some happy consumer will take to twitter to share the joy of their new purchase. Since I’m new to twitter, I’m testing both services out now. What am I searching for now? #Blackfriday! I want to catch any other good strategy ideas in time to use them.
My attempt to pay the lowest, rock bottom prices, have been foiled again.
Yesterday afternoon I ordered a clock for Nicki’s Nursery. Domingo and I had discovered that we need to rock Nicki for at least twenty minutes after she falls asleep before she enters her deep sleep. Try and stop rocking before then, and the eyes spring open. Normally I have my phone with me and can time how long we rock, but every once in a while I forget it. So a few days ago I picked out a butterfly wall clock from Cafepress, and yesterday I ordered it with a 30% off labor day weekend coupon. This morning I wake up and find a 35% off coupon for today only. Have I mentioned how much that annoys me to miss out on a the best sale, even if it’s only 75 cents?!
But that wasn’t the only savings I missed out on.
I also noticed yesterday that Shutterfly was doing a 34% sale on canvas prints. Since I wanted one for Nicki’s nursery, I decided to go ahead and order it. Much to my delight, they were also running a free shipping on orders of at least $30. Since I couldn’t do both the free shipping and my $20 gift card, I decided to hold off on the gift card. (Shipping would have been $19.99, and I can use my gift card for Christmas cards.) I finalized my purchase this morning at around 1:41 am. Just 7 hours and 5 minutes later I get this offer in my inbox: $39 Canvas Print from CafePress, including shipping.
Now that one stung.
As an aside, $39 for a 16 x 20 canvas print is a great deal, and (given that you have until December to use it), would make an excellent Christmas gift for a spouse or parent. A quick Google search shows me they run this deal about once a month. Clearly I need to do more research before making a purchase next time.
I predict Amazon Prime is going to save us money in the long run even though I don’t expect I would have paid for expedited shipping frequently. Prior to baby, I never previously paid for expedited shipping. I was the gal who would hunt for additional items so my shopping cart would hit that magical $25 to avoid shipping costs. I was buying extra stuff I wouldn’t ordinarily buy. (Ask me how useful that spaghetti measurer is sometime.) With prime, everything ships free with no minimum order. That means I can use camelcamelcamel.com to wait for price drops, and I don’t have to worry about filling my shopping cart when they occur. I’m really looking forward to testing this combination out for Black Friday! Price alerts & free shipping? Sign me up! The combination of camelcamelcamel and AmazonMom has already saved me $14 in under two months. I’m well on my way to recouping the cost of membership.
A report last year linking prime membership to greater spending, causing some to speculate that prime entices customers to spend more. Sure, that’s possible. I know in my case, however, I signed up for prime because I anticipated increase in shopping with the arrival of our daughter. I guess it’s just one more case where correlation does not imply causation, or at least the causal relationship in this case is the reverse of what was predicted.
Another good source of discounts I’ve been taking advantage of lately came with my maternity clothes purchase. I purchased about half of my clothes online from Motherhood Maternity during one of their spring sales. Turns out they send you a set of coupons with each purchase that includes $20 off from Shutterfly, and 25% off a $40 purchase from Carters among others. Well, apparently my order got split into two shipments so I received two sets of coupons! I used one set of $20 off Shutter fly for birth announcements. Each one ended up costing me 46 cents including tax & shipping! Yes, that’s only 1 cent more than the cost of the postage. I plan on using my second $20 off coupon for the canvas print I’ve been wanting.
As for carters, I ordered the next size up in baby clothes a few weeks ago – 9 onesies and a sleep and play averaging $4.50 each! The sleep & play was the most expensive, but totally worth it. It’s a glow in the dark skeleton. Nicki will 3 and a half months by Halloween, but I think there’s a good chance she’ll still be in the 0-3 month size given that it’s a little just two months away. I also figure we’ll get more use out of it earlier in October than November.
I wouldn’t go out and purchase maternity clothes just for these coupons. Shutterfly routinly does a $10 off $20 purchase, and carters does a 20% off $40 purchase. But they were a nice add on, that amounted to an additional $24 in savings on things I was going to buy anyway.
This has been a tough week for me. Despite what our midwife predicting we wouldn’t be going into labor anytime soon, my body tricked me into thinking I was going into labor twice this weekend. I was awoken out of sleep both times to tightening in my abdomen, but it went away and hasn’t returned. It seems like after months of trying to escape through my navel, Zippy has decided my belly is quite comfortable after all.
We are basically done with our To-Dos before Baby. We purchased a crib mattress and a set of sheets this weekend using my coupon. I even finished scrubbing down the bathrooms and the kitchen. The semester even finished, so I don’t have anything pressing research wise (although I could always find something research wise to do).
I repacked our hospital bags (I ditched the multi-bag approach, and just went a single soft shell bag that can hold more and takes up less space). I even printed out a “where everything is packed” list, and color coded the pockets so Domingo can find things more easily. Overly organized and anal retentive? Maaaybe… At least I didn’t laminate the list. Yet. No promises if Zippy doesn’t get here soon…
I’m now in a wait-for-something-to-happen mode. I need a distraction.
I’m looking to fill my week (weeks?) with activities I can’t do once Zippy arrives.
One option is to go see Brave. We’ve gone twice since I’ve entered the third trimester, once for the Hunger Games and once for The Avengers. Both times we went in the middle of the week, after the movie had been out for a month. The timing worked out great, we got a whole row to ourselves which meant I could easily make a bathroom run. Obviously, we won’t be waiting a month for this movie, but hopefully the theater won’t be too crowded on a weekday anyway. Going on a weekday also has other advantages. Using our regal crown card, there’s weekday discounts at the concession stand. Visa Signature is also doing a buy one, get one free movie ticket deal, but it’s for Fridays only so we won’t be able to take advantage of it.
Another possibility is the county fair. We’ve gone every year to look at the hand made crafts and photography. The plan was to skip this year because we were worried about the heat not mixing well with me being nine months pregnant, but so far the weather has been cooperating. Still, we’re planning on going on a weekday to avoid the crowds. It can be so busy on the weekend it’s hard to find a place to sit! They’re doing a promotional deal Tuesday, so that looks like a good day to me!
Zippy, we are ready and anxious to meet you!
I’ve made a big point in my blog about wanting the best for our baby, but at the best price possible. While I’m sure we’ll never be “done” with baby purchases, I used our registry completion code to finish getting everything that’s a top priority.
What We Have
1. The teething toys we bought look identical to these, but they’re the bright starts brand. Our requirement for water/gel filled teethes is they need to be freezer safe. I don’t want to have to remember which ones can freeze when I’m sleep deprived and dealing with a cranky baby! I don’t believe the ones I linked to are freezer safe.
2. We purchased the blue & white hair brush and nail clippers in store, not the orange and white that I linked to.
3. We purchased two baby gates in white, not black.
We were also very fortunate to get baby blankets, board books and a nursing cover from friends and family. Thank you again for your generosity!
What We Still Need Or Are Still Considering
Three Wheeled Stroller – Like I said, we’re probably going to wait until the 2013 models come out to look for a deal on the 2012 models. We won’t need it until then anyway. I’ve been watching the sale fliers that come my way, if I see a good deal I may get one early.
Car Seat for Domingo’s Car – We’re going to get this for Domingo’s car once my maternity leave ends. We won’t need it until then. Our plan is to get a convertible car seat, rather than a second infant base. At the end of my maternity leave, we’ll have some experience with the infant seat to know whether that’s a good idea or not.
Mattress & Crib Sheets – I’ve been holding off on these until the crib is assembled, so I can be sure I’m getting the right size. I also want to feel the mattress firmness in person. The AAP suggests a firm mattress, and some mattresses that are labeled as “firm” don’t feel very firm to me. I’m also very picky about textures in sheets. I have a coupon for 20% off Babies R Us and it looks like I can apply it to mattresses, so there’s no harm in waiting.
Baby Bath Tub – Since I’m still undecided about this one, we’re passing in favor of sponge baths for now. I really like the folding, space saver tubs, but they’re a little steep for me price wise.
An infant carrier – I’m leaning towards a Moby Wrap, but the criticism of them is they can be warm. We’re heading into one of the warmest summers on record for our area (California) and expecting a June/July baby.
As you can see, we didn’t get a ton of baby gear. We decided if there was any question about whether we would use something, we would hold off on purchasing it. I’d rather get nicer things that we know we need, then baby gear that sits in a box for a year before being donated! Some items may seem like a really good idea, but be impractical in practice. (I mentioned in a couple of previous posts that some popular baby gear wouldn’t be practical for us given where we live and our current life style here and here.)
I’m pretty happy with what we got, and the prices we paid. I was able to find many sales for between 20-30% off, and I did score few things for over 40% off! Those big sales added up, which was great because some items are very hard to find on sale! Overall, I saved over 19%!
Sure, I could have done better. There were a couple of times I’d purchase something at the lowest price I’ve ever seen it, only to see it dip slightly lower a few months later. I estimated I overspent by about $50. But it would have required premonition to spend perfectly. And we are working against a clock. I didn’t want to hold off on a great deal on the possibility there’d be an awesome deal that never comes and find myself needing to paying retail.
The big question now, though, is did we get the right gear? Only time will tell.
Best advice I have:
* Start as early as possible. Our first purchase was on black Friday. (Well, actually we did buy a few onesies as soon as we found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t help myself!) Starting early meant we could spread out our purchases and wait for good deals, like on the breast pump. Some stores have annual or semi annual sales on certain categories of products. Babies R’ Us had a two day sale on activity gyms at one point, and I snagged the Lamaze Space Symphony Motion Gym for only $44 + $6 for shipping! (I could have saved myself that shipping charge if I was willing to drive 2 hours round trip to the nearest store that had the gyms in stock, but even I’m not that crazy.) If you give yourself enough time and can wait, you can snag a great deal. In fact, our average savings on items that retail for over $100? 21%!
* Once you know what you want, keep track of prices so you know when a deal is actually a deal. I got the skip hop pronto changing pad from Amazon Warehouse for $17.66. It was technically marked as opened box/damaged box, but still had the tags attached. A month later I noticed Amazon Warehouse selling another used one for $22.32, a 26% increase! And it’s not like it could have been in better condition.
* Shop around. I found the best prices for items under $10 was usually Target. Even Target’s regular price typically beat everyone else’s price with a registry completion discount. Amazon had really good every day prices on big ticket items, but you can usually beat them with a 20% off coupon at Buy Buy Baby. (Of course, you only get so many Buy Buy Baby coupons in a year!)
What tactics weren’t as useful for getting great deals:
* The google alerts seemed like such a good idea, but they never triggered. It may be my fault. Maybe I didn’t include the right words to trigger on. Still, I was disappointed.
* I didn’t end up doing as much second hand shopping as I initially expected. Even the onesies (which half came from the clearance rack!) ended up all being brand new. I think I prefer outlet/clearance shopping to consignment/second hand, anyway. I did shop the Amazon Warehouse, since they had a great return policy, but I didn’t buy much from them. Their items were so gently used that most of their prices are typically only discounted 10-15%, but they occasional have some really great deals. Be sure to check the item condition before making a purchase!
* Don’t wait too long on items that are trending. Once something becomes popular, expect the price to go up and stay up. There were a couple toys I was considering, like the Ocean Wonders Soothe or Sophie the Giraffe, but the price kept creeping up. Once I know I missed a good deal, I get frustrated and no longer want to purchase the product. I plan to keep my price watch active, in case the price dips again. There’s always this year’s Black Friday!
* Registration completion discounts kindda suck. Not only was the discount low in comparison (only 10% compared to those 20-30% deals), but if you return anything you lose the entire discount! Actually, this isn’t uncommon with this type of coupon that applies to your entire cart, but it’s still annoying. You need to be absolutely sure you are only purchasing what you want. This means if you’re ordering crib sheets you need to be sure they will fit your mattress, and if you’re ordering a mattress you need to be sure it will fit your crib. I still love lists, and the registry was worth it to keep me organized! In the future, though, I won’t rely on the completion discount as much.
I love lists. Really I do. But my Pre-Baby To Do list is giving me heart palpitations. How is it we still have this much left to do?! Despite my panic, this was actually a pretty good weekend baby wise.
I scheduled the last of our pregnancy classes and our hospital tour of Labor and Delivery unit for next week. I’ve been holding off organizing my hospital bag until the tour, since I don’t know what they provide, and what they recommend I bring for myself and for zippy. In the gold old days hospitals use to get free samples from baby manufactures that they gave out to new moms. I’ve heard stories of free Halo SleepSack and nasal aspirators a couple years ago. Jealous! I’m not sure what we can expect in this economy, but I think they still have things like pacifiers, since the hospital keeps those on hand for the new babies anyway. After the tour we’ll go to a drug store and pick up a bunch of little things like a hair brush, first aid supplies, etc. I’ve found for this category of gear, local drug stores beat baby stores and online retailers. You have less choices, but how many choices do you need for a baby hair brush anyway?
We will have to skip the birthing class, since it doesn’t fit our schedule. The class is being offered only twice more before I’m due. The first is this Friday/Saturday, with Saturday being a full seven hours! It’s so last minute, that even if I put off all the things we need to do next weekend (and we were hoping to cross of quite a bit from our to-do list), I’m not sure we can be squeezed in. The class will be offered again a few days before Zippy’s due. Even if Zippy comes late, I’m not sure I’ll be up to sitting through 9 hours of pregnancy classes at 9 months pregnant! The good news is, of the classes that we were planning to take, I was most inclined to skip this one. At the hospital we’ll be surrounded by Doctors and nurses who know what they are doing and can tell us what to do. I also don’t feel totally unprepared. There’s also a lot of information online about breathing techniques, and what to expect. Our hospital also has a labor video that I’ve already watched. The other classes, breastfeeding and new born care, will help us learn what to do when we’re on our own. The birth is also one day, where we will be carrying for a nursing a newborn a lot longer!
We purchased a rocker for the nursery. We went with a rocker/recliner from JCPenney because it was so amazingly comfortable. I could spend hours a day in that chair (and I’m sure I will once zippy comes!). It seemed superior to the comparably priced ones at BabiesRUs and BuyBuyBaby, and JCPenney included free shipping. I was also able to get 20% off by opening a new charge card, so it was a great deal. I know – opening a new line of credit isn’t completely without cost, as it comes with a credit hit – but the temporary hit is worth it.
We also got the Motorola Video Baby Monitor from BuyBuyBaby using a 20% off coupon. It wasn’t until after I purchased it that I realized this particular unit doesn’t support a second parent device. (My fault – I didn’t do enough consumer research). We could have done a monitor with several parent devices if I was willing to give up video or willing to spend a lot more, both of which I was unwilling to do, so we would have ended up with the same monitor anyway.
Next we got a Dishwasher Basket for under $4 for Target as a spur of the moment decision. We were looking at the pacifiers and it suddenly occurred to me that we needed a way to clean them. If pacifiers end up not being dishwasher safe, I’m sure I can find a use for the tray (like cleaning my Wilton decorating tips or the corn on the cob grips). I went with blue, since I dislike hot pink and neon green. If I ever work up the courage to spend $50 for a bathtub, I will get the Blooming Bath in blue as well for the same reason.
So now we can clean baby’s (non existent) pacifiers, have a spot to clean her bottom (we still need diapers, wipes, etc), a spot for her to sleep and the technology to watch her as she does. It’s progress!
While we haven’t bought it yet, we did make a decision regarding strollers. We settled on the City Mini Stroller, since it’s easier and more comfortable for me than the other brands. Currently the Infant Car Seat Adaptor is actually more costly than the Single Snap N’ Go Stroller, so we’re planning on getting the Snap-N-Go. I’m just waiting for my registry completion coupon to make the purchase. If we get the Snap-N-Go, I might wait on the City Mini until the end of the year, when the city mini 2013 models come out. We won’t have use for the City Mini until then anyway, and if I wait I can get this year’s model at a discount! Double win!
Lastly – and I’m so proud of myself for this – I sent out thank you cards. A couple close friends and family members surprised us with gifts last weekend at my sister’s wedding, including some very nice handmade blankets. I was so bad with thank you cards after our wedding (they went out almost six months after!) so this time I thought I would send them out right away. It’s much easier to write four than forty.
One of the baby items I was interested in was the Gunapod Sleepsack. It seemed super warm and fuzzy for a winter time visit to the east coast. But my mom convinced me that $35 dollars for an item that will be used for at most one week is overkill.
Recently I was wondering around Amazon Warehouse and noticed the same sleep sack for $10 dollars! In the right size and color I wanted too. Score! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Amazon’s warehouse, it’s a place for gently used items. The sleep sack description said it was ‘like new’ (which according to Amazon means it should appear new) and that the box was damaged so it couldn’t be sold as ‘new’. I have no problem with second hand items, especially for things that can be thrown in the washing machine for a few iterations. So even if it was worn by another baby, it’s not a big deal to me.
So I added the sleep sack to my cart, and decided to look around for something else to get the free shipping. I figured with all of the baby gear we need, I’d find something that was also a decent deal. I was also meeting friends this weekend, so I didn’t have time to spend too much time online shopping. Waiting was a mistake. Two days later and the sleep sack is no longer available. Drat! So if you want something off of Amazon Warehouse, don’t wait to purchase it.
Amazon Warehouse is probably not worth it for some items if you have a registry and will get the 10% discount completion code. Most products seem to be discounted around 12-13%. So you’re only saving an additional 2-3% for a product that’s used instead of something new. I’m cheap, but I don’t know if I’m that cheap for an extra 3% savings. The gunapod was an exception. In addition to being significantly marked down, it wasn’t sold through Amazon but through a third party, it wasn’t eligible for the completion discount. That’s probably why it went so fast.
As for me, I will continue to go back and see if the gunapod is available. But my mom’s right, the winters aren’t cold enough here in California, and it’s silly to pay full price on an item I know will be rarely used.